May 13, 2011

Grandma’s Secret Weapons: Worms In Your Compost

For most people when their Grandma sends them a photo, it’s of lovely things like her homemade apple pie, a beautiful sunset, rainbows, or hummingbirds.

Here is what I was sent:

I loved it. We are a strange family.

Facts about composting with worms or vermicomposting
  • There are specific types of worms you use for Vermicomposting. The most common are called “Red Wiggler” or “Red Worms”. You can purchase them at your local garden store. Regular earth worms will not work!
  • The benefit of adding worms to your compost is that it speeds along the process and leaves you with a finer compost.
  • Vermicomposting is ideal for small spaces! You could even have a worm bin in a small Rubbermaid plastic bin.
  • On average one worm will turn over the equivalent of half its weight per day. Good to keep in mind when purchasing worms.

What conditions are needed in your worm bin
  •  Moisture, do not let your worm bin dry out! You can either place a piece of cardboard over the top of your pile, or water it down if it dries out.
  • Your standard composting rules apply, just remember no pet waste, dairy, meat, or oil.
  •  Darkness: The worms like to be in the dark. Having the worms in a bin with a closed lid is preferable.
  •  Air: Although they like darkness they still need oxygen, check out one of my Grandma’s ideas for this. You can also drill holes into your container.
  • Do not stir you compost! After a few months your worms have completely organized your compost just the way they like it!
  • Your worms may enjoy a bed of newspaper, coir, or dried leaves.

  • If your bed gets too moist (more than what a wrung out sponge looks like) add some dry materials, or increase the air flow.

If you are looking to start a simple worm bin, here is a great resource:

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